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Cablegate: 2001 Incsr Chapter On Nigeria

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 ABUJA 000189

SIPDIS


FOR INL


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR NI
SUBJECT: 2001 INCSR CHAPTER ON NIGERIA

REF: 01 STATE 203719


The following is post,s INCSR submission.
-----------------------------------------


Nigeria


I. Summary


1. Nigeria remains a hub of narcotics trafficking and money
laundering activity. Nigerian organized criminal groups
dominate the African drug trade, and transport narcotics to
markets in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some
of these criminal organizations are engaged in Advance-Fee
Fraud, commonly referred to as "419 Fraud8 and other forms
of defrauding U.S. citizens and businesses. Years of
military rule and an associated economic decline contributed
significantly to the expansion of drug-trafficking and
criminality in Nigeria. The resulting severe unemployment and
widespread corruption provided both an incentive and a
mechanism for Nigerian criminal groups to capitalize on
Nigeria's central location along the major drug routes and
access global narcotics markets. Southeast and Southwest
Asian heroin smuggled via Nigeria accounts for a significant
portion of the heroin imported into the United States.
Nigerian criminal elements operating in South America
transship cocaine through Nigeria on to Europe, Asia, and
Africa, mainly South Africa. Nigerian-grown marijuana is
exported to neighboring West African countries and to Europe,
but not in significant quantities to the U.S. Aside from
marijuana, Nigeria does not produce any of the drugs that are
trafficked by its nationals.


2. During the past year, President Obasanjo,s public
denunciation of this criminal activity has been matched by a
number of steps he has taken to tackle drug-trafficking,
money-laundering and other organized criminal activities
while he seeks to improve the image of Nigeria abroad.
Funding of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
--Nigeria,s sole drug control agency -- increased 200
percent while the NDLEA,s dynamic leadership instituted a
number of internal reforms that have improved the
professionalism of the 3,500 men and women in the NDLEA.


3. Nigeria,s effort to strengthen its commitment to drug
control and the fight against organized crime suffered a
tragic setback when Chief Bola Ige, the Attorney General and
Minister of Justice, was assassinated on December 23. Chief
Ige, Nigeria,s top law enforcement official and the official
responsible for the NDLEA,s operations, was the catalyst
behind many of the new anti-drug and anti-crime initiatives
in the past year. President Obasanjo has pledged to find and
prosecute those behind the assassination and to sustain the
reforms started by the late Attorney General.


4. A campaign to root out corruption started shortly after
President Obasanjo's inauguration in May 1999 has this year
been sustained and strengthened. In late 2001, the
Anti-Corruption Commission hired 93 investigators,
prosecutors and administrators ) its first batch of
dedicated personnel. The Obasanjo Administration supports
the domestically controversial 1990 NDLEA Act Number 33. This
law dictates that Nigerians convicted of drug offenses abroad
will be arrested upon their deportation back to Nigeria, and,
if convicted, will be liable for a minimum of 5 years
additional imprisonment for harming the reputation of
Nigeria. But corruption embedded over 16 years of continuous
military rule continues to be a problem for an Obasanjo
Administration committed to rooting it out.


5. Over the years, Nigerian law enforcement agencies have had
sporadic success in combating the various elements of the
drug trade. In 2001, however, the Obasanjo government took a
number of steps to strengthen the capacity of these agencies
to deal with organized crime. Legislation was introduced
into the National Assembly to improve the existing 1995 Money
Laundering Act that only criminalizes money laundering
related to drug trafficking. Following the June 2001
designation of Nigeria by the Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) as a &Non-Cooperative Country or Territory,8 the
Nigerian Government acted quickly to respond to the FATF by
designing a new Anti-Terrorism, Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission that will serve as a strong centralized authority
to coordinate anti-money laundering efforts, specifically to
combat the financial activities of narcotics traffickers.
Legislation creating this new commission has been drafted and
is expected to be submitted and approved by the National
Assembly within the first quarter of 2002. There have been
few arrests and no convictions under the existing Money
Laundering Decree. In addition, asset forfeiture has not
been a successful deterrent against money laundering or drug
trafficking activities. Interdiction and enforcement efforts
are complicated by an absence of inter-agency cooperation and
a serious lack of resources. Years of neglect by successive
military regimes left the law enforcement community
demoralized and ill-equipped to deal with sophisticated,
international criminal networks. This problem is compounded
by pervasive corruption throughout all levels of government.
There have been a few arrests of major traffickers; however,
it can take years for a case to actually come to trial and no
mechanism exists to track cases. Cases are often lost within
Nigeria's judicial system. Nigeria did take a significant
step in November 2000 by transferring into U.S. custody four
fugitives wanted on serious narcotics and narcotics-related
charges, including two who are on the President,s List of
Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers under the Foreign
Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Nigeria is a party to the
1988 UN Drug Convention.


II. Status of Country


6. Nigeria produces no precursor chemicals or drugs that have
a significant effect on the United States. However, Nigeria
remains a major drug-trafficking transit country and Nigerian
criminal elements operate global networks.


7. The law enforcement agency with sole responsibility for
combating narcotics trafficking and drug abuse is the
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). The NDLEA was
established in 1989, and works alongside Nigerian Customs,
the State Security Service, the National Agency for Food and
Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the National
Police, and the Nigerian Immigration Service at the various
ports of entry. NDLEA's most successful interdictions have
taken place at Nigeria,s international airports. The agency
has successfully apprehended individual drug couriers
transiting these airports and some of the drug traffickers
sponsoring these couriers. An improved interdiction effort
at the Lagos international airport during 2001 has forced
smugglers to change tactics and ship contraband via Nigeria's
five major seaports or across its porous land borders.


8. In late 2001, the NDLEA carried out an unprecedented
seizure of 60 kilograms of cocaine at the Lagos seaport of
Tin Can Island. Following this seizure, the President issued
an executive decree granting the NDLEA full operational
access to all of Nigeria,s international sea ports. This
move, long called for by the U.S. Government, is expected to
greatly boost the NDLEA,s interdiction success.


9. As specialists in moving narcotics and other contraband,
Nigerian criminal organizations are heavily involved in
corollary criminal activities such as document fabrication,
illegal immigration, and financial fraud. Their ties to
criminals in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia
and South Africa are well documented. Nigerian poly-crime
organizations exact significant financial and societal costs,
especially among West African nations with limited resources
for countering these organizations.


III. Country Actions Against Drugs in 2001


10. Policy Initiatives. In 2001 the democratically elected
Obasanjo Administration introduced a number of new
legislative and executive initiatives to combat narcotics
trafficking and organized crime. These include: drafting
new money laundering legislation; drafting of legislation to
create an &Anti-Terrorism, Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission8 to coordinate government-wide efforts against
money laundering and financial crimes; granting expanded
authority to the NDLEA to operate in the five major
international seaports of Nigeria and the formation of an
inter-agency anti-fraud committee to improve enforcement
efforts against financial fraud. The draft bill to create an
Anti-Terrorism, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
shows the Government,s commitment to meeting its
international obligations, particularly the criteria of the
FATF. Nigeria's counter-narcotics policy is based on the
National Drug Control Master Plan (NDCMP), in place since
1998. This plan assigns responsibilities to various
government ministries and agencies as well as NGOs and other
interest groups. The master plan also outlines basic resource
requirements and time-frames for the completion of
objectives. Many of these goals have not yet been met.


11. Both chambers in the National Assembly have Narcotics
Affairs Committees, which monitor the performance of the
NDLEA and implementation of Nigeria's counter-narcotics
strategy. While past frequent leadership changes at the NDLEA
have impaired the agency's interdiction activities, the
tenure since October 2000 of the current NDLEA Chairman,
Alhaji Bello Lafiaji has given the agency new life and much
greater direction. Chairman Lafiaji has declared an all-out
offensive against drug trafficking and has instituted a
number of internal reforms to improve the professionalism of
NDLEA staff, including the retiring of officials suspected of
corruption and improving training and benefits for NDLEA
personnel. Chairman Lafiaji also has called for the
harmonization of Nigeria's narcotics legislation and has
sought increased international assistance for his agency. The
NDLEA has also embarked upon a publicity campaign to combat
narcotics trafficking and drug abuse by staging various
contraband destruction events around the country.


12. Accomplishments. Nigeria,s drug enforcement efforts
improved substantially in 2001. With INL assistance, the
NDLEA launched a more aggressive drug interdiction campaign
at the Lagos international airport ) long known as a major
gateway for U.S.- and Europe-bound narcotics. This effort
coincided with the resumption of direct (nonstop) flights
from Lagos to the U.S. in February, after a hiatus of eight
years. The report of only one seizure made by U.S.
authorities at the port of entry of the flight (New York,s
JFK airport) is evidence of greatly improved screening by the
NDLEA in Lagos.


13. The Nigerian Government also improved its record of
drug-related prosecutions. Using special drug courts, a more
energetic effort by the NDLEA to prosecute drug traffickers
efficiently and successfully produced over 2,000 convictions
in calendar year 2001. In a notable November 2001 case, the
NDLEA froze a bank account of 1.6 million naira that belongs
to a suspected drug-trafficker and money-launderer.


14. The Government of Nigeria also pledged to design a
mechanism to process U.S. extradition requests expeditiously
while observing due process under Nigerian law and in
accordance with the Nigerian constitution. This mechanism
will include the creation of an exclusive extradition team of
public prosecutors and the designation of a special court and
a High Court judge dedicated to extradition cases. While
extradition requests were formerly heard in any court,
including lower magistrates, courts, the Government has now
centralized the handling of all U.S. extradition requests in
the Federal High Court of Abuja.


15. At the Government of Nigeria,s initiative, a high level
U.S.-Nigeria law enforcement dialogue was initiated in 2001.
The first meeting of this semi-annual forum, the Bilateral
Law Enforcement Committee, took place on November 9 in
Washington D.C. and covered the full range of U.S. and
Nigerian law enforcement interests: drug control; financial
fraud; trafficking in persons; corruption; immigration
crimes; police reform; extradition and money-laundering. The
dialogue has already led to commitments by the Government of
Nigeria to take significant steps towards mutually agreed
goals by March 2002.


16. Law Enforcement Efforts. Nigerian counter-narcotics
efforts primarily focus on the interdiction of couriers
transiting Nigeria's air- and sea ports as well as a public
campaign focused on destroying plots of cultivated marijuana
throughout the country. Improved drug interdiction efforts
at the Lagos airport and sea ports led to a 40 percent
increase in drug seizures over 2000. 43 kilograms of heroin
and 98 kilograms of cocaine were seized during 2001. This
included a record seizure of 60 kilograms of cocaine at the
Lagos sea port of Tin Can Island. The number of drug
related arrests increased to 3,592 and 2,041 drug convictions
were handed down during the last year. Some major
narcotics-smugglers and their networks continue to elude
arrest and prosecution, even though the NDLEA recently began
an intensified effort to investigate major international drug
traffickers operating in Nigeria, in cooperation with the
DEA. Attempts by NDLEA to arrest and prosecute major
traffickers and their associates often fail in Nigeria's weak
judicial system, which is subject to intimidation and
corruption. Asset seizures from narcotics-traffickers and
money-launderers, while permitted under Nigerian law, have
never systematically been utilized as an enforcement tool,
but some convicted traffickers have had their assets
forfeited over the years. However, the number of traffickers
so far penalized remains small.


17. Corruption. Corruption is a pervasive problem in Nigerian
society. Estimated unemployment is over 25 percent. Civil
servants, salaries are low. In addition, salaries are
frequently months in arrears, compounding the corruption
problem. After its inauguration, the Obasanjo Administration
embarked on a public anti-corruption campaign. Legislation
was enacted and an Anti-Corruption Commission was formed.
This commission began prosecution of several minor officials
on corruption charges, and has initiated investigations into
allegations of high-level corruption have been launched. The
commission also has hired its first dedicated staff of
prosecutors, investigators and administrators. The U.S.
Government is providing the Commission with training and
technical assistance for its new staff. A commission also
was established to review government contracts awarded by
past Administrations. The Obasanjo Administration, however,
has made limited progress towards transparency and openness
in its contracting and decision-making process. A number of
criminal cases, launched by the Anti-Corruption Commission
against public officials accused of bribe-taking, are moving
forward and are expected to conclude early in 2002, although
an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the Commission,s
constitutionality has delayed these cases. Meanwhile,
corruption remains a significant obstacle to
counter-narcotics efforts, especially in the judicial
process. While the NDLEA has attempted to purge its ranks of
officers suspected of corrupt practices, a fear of corruption
hampers inter-agency cooperation as agencies are often
distrustful and unwilling to share information.


18. Agreements and Treaties. Nigeria is a party to the 1988
UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its
1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic
Substances; and the 2000 UN Convention on Transnational
Organized Crime. The 1931 U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty, which
was made applicable to Nigeria in 1935, is the legal basis
for pending U.S. extradition requests. Nigeria is a party to
the World Customs Organization,s Nairobi Convention, Annex
on Assistance in Narcotics Cases.


19. Cultivation and Production. Cannabis is the only illicit
drug produced in any significant quantity in Nigeria. The
drug is produced in all 36 states. Major cultivation takes
place in central and northern Nigeria and in Delta and Ondo
states in the south. Marijuana, or "Indian Hemp" as it is
locally known, is sold in Nigeria and exported throughout
West Africa and into Europe. To date, there is no evidence of
significant marijuana imports from Nigeria into the United
States. The NDLEA has been engaged in an active eradication
campaign. Through November 2001, the NDLEA claimed cannabis
seizures in excess of 290 metric tons and eradication of
cannabis plants in the field in excess of 270 hectares. In
August 2001, the NLDEA invited dignitaries and the diplomatic
corps to a narcotics destruction ceremony in Lagos to
highlight the agency,s seizures of narcotics throughout the
country.


20. Drug Flow/Transit. Nigeria is a major staging point for
Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin smuggled to Europe and
the United States and for South American cocaine transported
to Europe. While Nigeria remains Africa's drug transit hub,
there are indications that the preferred methods of
trans-shipment have changed. Improvement of the overall
security posture at Murtala Mohammed International Airport
has forced drug traffickers to ship by sea from Nigerian
seaports, concealing large quantities of contraband in
shipping containers, or use other West African airport with
laxer security controls.


21. Demand Reduction. Local production and use of marijuana
have been a problem in Nigeria for some time; however,
according to the NDLEA and NGOs, the abuse of harder drugs
(e.g., cocaine, heroin) is on the rise. Heroin and cocaine
are readily available in many of Nigeria's larger cities. Law
enforcement officials admit that Nigeria remains a major
narcotics trans-shipment point, but some officials deny that
domestic drug abuse is on the rise. U.S. officials and
training instructors find that many Nigerian officials do not
understand that by serving as a transit point, Nigeria may
itself begin to suffer significant drug abuse problems. The
NDLEA continues to expand its anti-drug clubs at Nigerian
universities and distribute anti-drug literature. The NDLEA
also has instituted a teacher,s manual for primary and
secondary schools, which offers guidance on teaching
students about drug abuse.


IV. U.S. Policy Initiatives and Programs


22. Policy Initiatives. U.S.-Nigerian counter-narcotics
cooperation focuses on interdiction efforts at major
international entry points and on professionalizing the NDLEA
and other law enforcement agencies. U.S. training and
material assistance have continued, with the NDLEA as the
primary target. The U.S. DEA office deals with a small group
of NDLEA representatives to lessen the chance of compromise
by corrupt individuals. USG working-level representatives
enjoy good access to their counterparts and there is an
evident desire on both sides to strengthen these
relationships. The new NDLEA Chairman appears committed to
meeting agency goals and improving the morale of NDLEA
officers. Bilateral discussions during the last year on the
need to reform Nigeria,s Police have presaged the planned
start in 2002 of a USG police reform program. The Nigerian
Government has reviewed plans for reform and U.S. assistance
agencies have prepared their own suggestions for ways to
proceed, however, the task will be formidable as the police
lack so much in the way of equipment, and their morale has
suffered over the years as the situation deteriorated. For
example, salaries are low and frequently paid months late.
23. Bilateral Accomplishments. In 2001, at the request of
the GON, a U.S.-Nigeria Bilateral Law Enforcement Committee
was created to advance mutual drug and crime control issues.
Co-chaired by Nigeria,s Attorney General and the State
Department,s Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement Affairs, the group met for the first time
in November 2001 in Washington. This meeting produced a
joint declaration containing Government of Nigeria pledges
to: a) introduce new money laundering legislation; b) begin
investigation of at least one major drug trafficker in
cooperation with DEA; c) draft and introduce to the National
Assembly new legislation allowing for the civil forfeiture of
assets derived from organized crime or drug-trafficking; d)
commence extradition proceedings of individuals wanted for
prosecution by the U.S. Government; and e) boost resources
for the new Anti-Corruption Commission. Meanwhile, The U.S.
DEA office in Nigeria continues to work with the NDLEA on
expanding their relationship. New INL assistance to the
NDLEA allowed for a stronger interdiction posture at the
Lagos international airport ) Nigeria,s largest drug
transit point ) forcing many traffickers to re-route drug
shipments through neighboring countries. INL assistance has
also been provided to the Nigerian Police Force to improve
investigations and enforcement operations against criminal
organizations involved in advance fee or &4198 fraud, which
largely targets American citizens and businesses.


24. The Road Ahead. The U.S.-Nigerian relationship has
improved significantly with the reintroduction of democratic
government in Nigeria. During the past year President
Obasanjo demonstrated his commitment to the international
drug fight by increasing the NDLEA,s budget by 200 percent
and giving this agency long-awaited operational access to
Nigeria,s sea ports. Nevertheless, much remains to be done
in the area of drug control and the Federal Government needs
to address key weaknesses, including the processing of U.S.
extradition requests and the local prosecution of major drug
traffickers. As noted elsewhere in this report, the
narcotics and crime problems in Nigeria are deeply rooted in
Nigeria's present governmental system, and in Nigerian
society. It will require strong political will and continued
international assistance for any Nigerian government to
confront these difficult issues and bring about meaningful
change.


25. The U.S. government is working to aid Nigeria in its
counter-narcotics efforts. One area of prime concern is the
judiciary. Law enforcement efforts are often stymied by the
slow pace of the judicial system, which can be attributed to
both intimidation and corruption of the judiciary by criminal
organizations. The U.S. Agency for International Development
has implemented a "Rule of Law" program with the Nigerian
government to help strengthen and professionalize the
judiciary. Through the framework of the new Bilateral Law
Enforcement Committee, the Nigerian Government has committed
itself to the establishment of a reliable extradition
process that will allow extradition requests to be heard
expeditiously and fairly. Many U.S. extradition requests for
narcotics-traffickers have been outstanding for years.


26. The U.S. Government is also concerned about fundamental
problems with the Nigerian Police Force and other law
enforcement agencies. While President Obasanjo and his
advisors are aware of the need to modernize the Nigerian
Police as a key pillar of democratic consolidation, little
has been done to address key issues such as low salaries for
police and other law enforcement personnel. Salary arrears
also remain a problem. The Government of Nigeria needs to
demonstrate a commitment of its own resources to the fight
against narcotics trafficking and transnational crime in
order to strengthen its case for additional foreign donor
assistance.


27. The U.S. government provided training for NDLEA personnel
on general investigative techniques and sent two NDLEA
officers responsible for drug interdiction at the Lagos
international airport to a specialized training course in the
United States. Since narcotics-trafficking and financial
crimes are closely linked, the Government of Nigeria must
also strengthen and utilize its asset forfeiture legislation,
already in place. In addition, Nigeria must work to bring its
money-laundering laws into compliance with the FATF 40
recommendations and work to regulate its banking industry.


28. The U.S. government will continue to actively engage
Nigeria on the issue of counter-narcotics and money
laundering. There have been incremental successes, but
long-term progress will only come about through the
continuation of serious dialogue and cooperation, and a
willingness on the part of Nigeria's government to confront
difficult issues. The underlying institutional and societal
factors that contribute to narcotics-trafficking and
money-laundering activities in Nigeria are deep-seated and
require comprehensive, long-term solutions.


============================================= ===


Money Laundering Chapter:


29. Nigeria (Primary). The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a
hub of money laundering and financial crime activity, not
only for the West African sub-region but also increasingly
for the entire continent. It is the most populous country in
Africa, dominating the West African sub-region economically
and militarily. Nigeria is also Africa's most significant
narcotics trans-shipment point. Nigerian criminal
organizations utilize sophisticated global networks to ship
narcotics via Nigeria to markets in the United States,
Europe, and other African countries. Nigerian
money-laundering is directly linked to narcotics-trafficking
as well as corollary activities such as document,
immigration, and financial fraud. Though the execution and
coordination of these criminal activities may be taking place
increasingly outside of Nigeria, the majority of the proceeds
from these illegal activities continues to be repatriated to
Nigeria and these funds are often used to fund subsequent
criminal operations.


30. The combination of narcotics-trafficking and money
laundering, and the fact that Nigeria has failed to
adequately address corruption among law enforcement, customs,
immigration, other government agencies, and within
society-at-large, makes it unusually difficult to have an
effective anti-money laundering program.


31. In June 2001 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
declared Nigeria, along with 15 other countries, a
&Non-Cooperating Country or Territory8 (NCCT) for its
failure to address FATF concerns on international money
laundering.


32. Nigeria is notorious for the various financial schemes
that originate there. Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud, commonly
known as "Four-one-nine Scams," (419 is the reference to
fraud in Nigeria's criminal code) has become highly lucrative
for criminal enterprises. With the help of phone books,
business directories, and email lists, Nigerian criminal
organizations fax, mail, and email targeted businesses and
individuals around the world with enticing "get rich quick"
offers. The proposed schemes take various forms, for example,
by promising a transfer of funds "from an over-invoiced
contract" in Nigeria to a target's bank account. The cash in
question might be profit from a crude oil sale that a
business person "needs help in transferring out of the
country" or the disbursement of funds for a specific charity
from the estate of a recently deceased individual. Often,
these 419 letters and schemes are written on "official"
letterhead stationary. An elaborate system may be utilized to
provide bogus references. Advance Fee Fraud perpetrators may
request bank account information to gauge the targeted
victim's level of trust and provide the impression that a
funds transfer is imminent. All 419 Scams eventually request
payment of a fee (or fees) so that the alleged transfer of
funds can be facilitated. While actual monetary losses by US
citizens are difficult to gauge -- many victims are reluctant
to report such activity to law enforcement agencies --
conservative estimates place such losses by American citizens
and businesses in the hundreds of millions of dollars
annually. Substantial proof exists that narcotics traffickers
have utilized 419 Scams to fund their illicit smuggling
efforts.


33. The current anti-money laundering law, Money Laundering
Decree No. 3 of 1995, criminalizes narcotics-based money
laundering, but is useful only if the predicate offense is
narcotics trafficking. It requires banks to identify
customers, maintain records, and report large and suspicious
transactions to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It also
provides for the seizure and forfeiture of drug-related
assets, although forfeiture requires a conviction and thus is
seldom effectively used. Enforcement of the legislation
relies on the effective record keeping of banks, submissions
of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and account holder
identification. Enforcement of this banking oversight
responsibility, which is shared by the CBN and the National
Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has been weak and
inconsistent because of lack of training, excessive
bureaucracy, and corruption.


34. The NDLEA and the CBN,s Money Laundering Surveillance
Unit (MLSU) have the power to demand, obtain, and inspect the
books and records of a financial institution to confirm
compliance with the provisions of the money laundering
decree. Yet, the effectiveness of this authority is hindered
by weak record keeping and analysis of bank records,
including account holder identification data, filing of SARs
and information on bank management staff and affiliate
overseas banks. These deficiencies were highlighted by the
FATF in its declaration of Nigeria as a Non-Cooperative
Country or Territory (NCCT) in June 2001. There have been
no money laundering convictions.


35. In response to international concerns, particularly the
NCCT status given Nigeria by the FATF, the GON has taken
steps to revise the 1995 money laundering law and create a
centralized unit under the Office of the Presidency to combat
money laundering and financial crimes. It took the
initiative in late 2001 to engage the FATF in a dialogue on
how to improve Nigeria,s money laundering control regime,
including a GON-initiated meeting with the FATF,s Africa
and Middle East Review Group in Rome in December 2001. The
Nigerian government has also opened up a high-level law
enforcement exchange with the U.S. Government, covering a
wide array of issues, including money laundering and
financial crimes. This forum, the U.S.-Nigeria Law
Enforcement Committee, first met in Washington in early
November 2001. In 1998, the GON began cooperating with the
U.S. Postal Inspection Service to identify and crack down on
fraud operations through the mail. In addition, the U.S.
Secret Service has maintained an office in the U.S. Consulate

SIPDIS
General in Lagos since 1995, and in June 2000, opened a
separate office to assist in the effort to combat Advanced
Fee Fraud and other illegal operations, including U.S. dollar
counterfeiting operations. In May 1999, a decree was issued
that, according to the NDLEA, altered the burden of proof in
money laundering cases to facilitate prosecution.


36. Nigeria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, and in
December 2000, signed the United Nations Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime.


37. The steps taken to address the FATF,s concerns are
encouraging. Nigeria urgently needs to enact and implement
the draft changes to its anti-money laundering law so that it
can meet international standards and protect itself against
financial crimes and money laundering. Nigeria also needs to
demonstrate its ability to take action against corruption and
fraud. In addition, Nigeria should move quickly to create a
centralized financial intelligence unit, something that the
proposed Anti-Terrorism, Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission might incorporate, that would receive and analyze
information and cooperate with foreign counterparts in money
laundering investigations so that Nigeria can protect its
financial system from widespread abuse by criminals and
criminal organizations.


============================================= ===


------------------------
Nigeria Statistics Table
------------------------


Category . . . CY 1999 . . . CY 2000 . . . .CY2001


Drug Seizures
-------------
Heroin (kilograms)81.35 ** . .56.60 . . . . 43.59
Cocaine . . . . . 15.64 . . . 50.42 . . . . 98.47 NN
Marijuana . . . . .NA . . .272,260 . . . 293,022
Ephedrine . . . . . NA . . . . . 0 . . . 116.00


Marijuana Eradication
---------------------


Operation &Burn-the-Weed8
Hectares . . . . . . . . . . .1,038 . . . . . 394
Kilograms destroyed . . . 1,038,345 . . . 394,250


Prosecution
-----------


Drug Arrests . . .NA . . . . . 2,385 . . . . 3,592


Drug Convictions .NA . . . . . 1,624 . . . . 2,041


Drug Acquittals . NA . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 0


Notes


** 1999 heroin seizures included one single seizure of 60
kilograms
made at the Kano airport
NN 2001 cocaine seizures include one single seizure of 60
kilograms made
at the Lagos sea port of Tin Can Island .
Jeter

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G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>